Manage Your Domains via API with DNSimple

Curtis Chen
Oct. 04 2010, 08:00AM EDT

Do you, for some reason, have a ton of different Internet domains you need to manage?  Have you ever wished you could manipulate DNS records through an API, or on your iPhone?  Well, look no further, domain hoarders--DNSimple is here!

Created by brothers Anthony Eden and Darrin Eden, DNSimple offers a variety of tools for registering and managing DNS records, from a web-based interface to an iPhone app to a command-line tool.  For programmers, the most interesting option may be the DNSimple API, which allows DNSimple users to automate common domain management functions.  The company offers a 30-day free trial to get you started; their subscription plans start at $3/month for 10 domains.

The API uses HTTP Basic Authentication and returns data in JSON or XML formats, as specified in the request.  You can GET all the basic information you'd expect, including a list of all domains in your account and a list of records (A, CNAME, MX, SPF, etc.) which exist for a specified domain.  But POSTing is where things get really interesting.

If you have an active DNSimple account, you can use the API to register new domains which do not require extension data (e.g., .com or .net, but not .us or .ca).  You'll be automatically charged a 1-year registration fee ($16/year for .com domains, through eNom), and you must use an existing contact in your account.  Other commands allow you to transfer a domain from another registrar to DNSimple, create records for a domain, and create and apply templates to group common records together and apply them all at once to a domain.  The API documentation describes all the available commands in detail, and the Knowledge Base provides more general information about the service.

Though still young--the DNSimple.com domain was itself registered in April of 2010--this promising new service is a great example of how users can be empowered with even a simple API.  Keep up with their latest news on the DNSimple blog.

Curtis Chen Once a software engineer in Silicon Valley; now a science fiction writer and puzzle hunt maker near Portland, Oregon. You may have seen his "Cat Feeding Robot" Ignite presentation. Curtis is not an aardvark.

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